March 20, 2019



Sandra Stewart, Thinkshift Communications,, 415.391.4449

MaryAnn Wagner, Communications, Washington Sea Grant, 206-616-5363,

Cole Mellino, Project Associate, Fish 2.0,

Startup Culture Hits Seafood Industry at Aquaculture Workshop

in Seattle


West Coast Innovation Workshop and Pitch Session April 30 – May 1, 2019

Fish 2.0: A Free Opportunity for Aquaculture Companies to Network and Pitch to Investors


Seattle – In collaboration with NOAA Fisheries and Fish 2.0, Washington Sea Grant is co-hosting an innovation workshop and pitch session on the University of Washington campus for aquaculture businesses and investors alike. Entrepreneurs sharpen their pitch and build their potential investor and partner network, while investors and experts get an early look at emerging innovations.

This free two-day workshop invites aquaculture-related businesses from the U.S. West Coast, Hawaii and Alaska to learn how to find the right financing and grow operations. On day one, workshop participants explore financing, what investors want and trends affecting their market, and learn compelling ways to talk about their business. On day two, participants practice what they learned and network. In the afternoon, at the World Trade Center, participants pitch their business to regional investors and experts, who benefit from learning about emerging trends and get a taste of seafood innovation bubbling up in the region. This is a no-fee event that provides a unique opportunity for aquaculture businesses to refresh perspectives and evolve operations. Applications are limited and accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

What: U.S. Aquaculture – West Coast Innovation Workshop and Pitch Session

When: Tuesday, April 30 and Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Where: University of Washington, Seattle campus and World Trade Center, Seattle, WA

The West Coast workshop and pitch session is the final event for the U.S. aquaculture track in the Fish 2.0 cycle of workshops, which connect innovators from around the world to grow the sustainable seafood sector. Any eligible business can take Fish 2.0’s two-part online Readiness Assessment. Those that meet the standard become Fish 2.0 Qualified. They will be invited to enter the new Fish 2.0 Connect online hub, where they can connect with investors and partners based on mutual interest. The top-scoring businesses–the Fish 2.0 Forty–earn a spot on the stage at the Global Innovators Forum Nov. 5-6, 2019 at Stanford University, where they’ll present to invited investors and experts from across the country and around the world.

At least 75 percent of finalists in the Fish 2.0 2017 cycle made connections during the program that resulted in investment, new partners or new customers. “The Fish 2.0 process alone is helpful to any entrepreneur looking to be part of the sustainable seafood space—the feedback from workshops, other participants and reviewers really focused our message and drive,” says Sara Rademaker, founder of Maine-based American Unagi and a top scorer in Fish 2.0’s 2017 qualifying cycle.

“By sponsoring Fish 2.0, NOAA is supporting innovative approaches to expanding sustainable aquaculture in the United States and the creation of dynamic partnerships that channel private resources toward increased seafood sustainability and security in the U.S.,” says Michael Rubino, director of aquaculture at NOAA Fisheries.

About Fish 2.0

Fish 2.0 is a global community that brings innovators together to grow the sustainable seafood sector. Working through our worldwide network, regional events, online Readiness Assessment, Fish 2.0 Connect online hub, and Global Innovators Forum, Fish 2.0 participants collaborate to drive innovation, business growth, and positive impact. Everyone benefits: Entrepreneurs meet potential investors, partners, and advisors that help them accelerate impact and growth. Investors and experts get early access to investment opportunities and learn about emerging technologies and trends.

Participants may register online at

Entrepreneurs and investors with questions about the workshop and pitch session, the Fish 2.0 Readiness Assessment or the 2018–19 Fish 2.0 qualifying cycle can contact Fish 2.0 at


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Housed in the College of the Environment at the University of Washington, Washington Sea Grant leads research, outreach and education for people to understand and address challenges facing our ocean and coasts.

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